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July 26, 2010

EdgeWater 245CX

Like those successful crossover-vehicle ­manufacturers, EdgeWater has blended fishing and cruising features masterfully in a truly ­unsinkable hull...

Sport-utility vehicles came about as a result of ­multitaskers. Rather than calling the 245CX a dual console, I would categorize it as a WUV - a water-sports-utility vessel. Though not designed to run 80 miles offshore, it will certainly keep you safe while offshore fishing. But it will also perform equally well when you want to take your teens wakeboarding or your friends for an evening dinner cruise.

Performance
After we exited the inlet at Marco Island on Florida's extreme southwest coast, easterly winds at 15 to 18 mph roiled the waters into a very ugly two-foot chop. The 245 jumped onto plane in three seconds with very little bow rise.

At cruise, while running straight into the chop, I found the hull noise muted with no creaking or working noise thanks to the immense amount of foam that goes into making this boat unsinkable. Trimming the bow down with the Lenco tabs resulted in a very smooth, dry ride in this head sea.

Our 245 with a single Yamaha 250 carried us to a top speed of 45.2 mph at 6,000 rpm while using 21.4 gph. Optimum cruising speed equated to just more than 32 mph (4,500 rpm), burning 12.5 gph for an economical 2.58 mpg.

At cruising speed, a hard-over turn bled speed quickly, reversing our course in about two boat lengths. Drifting in that chop, the 245 exhibited a rather long roll moment, but with very gentle transitions.

Yamaha ships this 250 with a 19-pitch prop as standard. However, Neal Travis of Trapper Custom Marine has determined that this boat runs much better with a 17pitch wheel.

The 245CX carries a max ­horsepower rating of 350. With that, this boat should run like a scalded dog - in excess of 55 mph. Most buyers opt for the smaller 250 hp four-stroke since they spend most of their time running nearshore or inshore. In many places today, those areas have speed limits, so the extra cash to purchase and run the 350 doesn't really make a lot of sense. On the other hand, the 250 may be just slightly weak if you want to pull your teens wakeboarding in addition to going fishing. That's where Yamaha's new V6 300 Offshore enters the picture. Ultimately, that will likely be the best power choice for this boat!

Fishing
The 245CX sports the usual fishing accoutrements: a 28gallon recirculating transom livewell, under-gunwale storage for six rods, two rod holders in each gunwale and fish boxes under the forward seating. You could even adapt the centerline storage box in the sole for storing rods instead of water skis.

Additionally, the cockpit provides plenty of room to fish, though the fixed transom seat blocks you from reaching the transom on centerline. Keep your fish alongside and use the coaming pads, which met my legs just above the knees, to make fish fights comfortable and secure.

Design and Construction
First, EdgeWater sprays the gel coat on the inside of the mold. Then it layers in all the dry goods such as knitted and multidirectional fiberglass cloth and Divinycell coring. Next, the mold is wrapped with a heavy plastic bag attached to vacuum hoses on one end. Resins enter the bag at the other end and are drawn through the dry goods, infusing them with exactly the right amount of vinylester resin, with no air voids. Vacuum bagging takes human error and guesswork out of the production process.

The 245CX comes with no hardtop or T-top options. Rather, you can order a fabric Bimini top that covers all of the helm and portside guest seating for shade. But with it deployed, expect your top speed to drop by at least a mile per hour.

Our boat's optional helm-seat module contained two sinks and a small cooler. I prefer doing without the module (allowing the helm seat to adjust farther aft) and replacing it with a 35quart cooler. Even with that, you'll likely need to take a second cooler along if you cruise for a day with a boatful of guests. A great head in the port console features a porcelain toilet, sink and storage.

Readers in northern climes will like how the door between the cockpit and the forward seating area combines with the snap-on Sunbrella forward cockpit cover and the opening windshield. If the weather is rough or wet or you want to extend your boating into colder months, being able to set up this barrier to inclemency will be appreciated.


LOA......24 ft. 6 in.
BEAM......8 ft. 6 in.
DRAFT......1 ft. 9 in.
DEADRISE......20 deg.
WEIGHT......3,550 lb.
FUEL......130 gal.
MAX POWER......350 hp OB
MSRP......Price on request

EdgeWater Power Boats / Edgewater, Florida / 386-426-5457 / www.ewboats.com